Tag Archives: environmental engineering

2020 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo, Orlando

March 15, 2020

The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) will host its 2020 Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida on March 15-18, 2020.

As the largest exposition dedicated to the natural refrigeration industry, the annual IIAR Conference & Expo is a great opportunity to network with other attendees in the ammonia refrigeration industry, including design engineers, contractors, end users, academics, scientists, trainers, and regulatory agencies. The conference also offers continuing education hours and professional development sessions.

Look for the SCS Tracer Environmental Team at Booths 826-828! Mark Carlyle, Eric Girven, Bill Lape, and Jodie Rukamp will be on hand to answer your questions related to compliance with the Process Safety Management/Risk Management Program (PSM/RMP) regulations.

SCS Tracer Environmental, a specialty group of SCS Engineers, offers a wide range of PSM/RMP consulting services, such as:

  • Ammonia refrigeration operator training,
  • PSM/RMP implementation training,
  • Mechanical Integrity Inspections,
  • Three Year PSM/RMP Compliance Audits,
  • Five Year PSM/RMP Revalidations,
  • PSM/RMP prevention program development,
  • Ammonia sensor calibration, and
  • Various engineering calculations.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

SCS Engineers Welcomes Joe Dinan to Lead Our Boston Office

February 19, 2020

Joseph Dinan heads the SCS Engineers new office at 101 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02110,
Tel: 857-444-6302

SCS Engineers opened a new office in Boston’s Downtown Crossing district. The new location is more convenient for clients and enhances support to the firm’s growing client base in New England.

Joe Dinan heads the SCS Engineers’ environmental services team in Boston.

Joseph Dinan, an accomplished project manager and senior scientist heads Boston’s SCS team. Dinan has an excellent record meeting regulatory compliance and accountability for his clients to efficiently permit projects, keep them on budget and maintain the redevelopment schedule while meeting all environmental guidance. His background includes applied sciences including chemistry, microbiology, and environmental and soil sciences. Dinan has successfully managed hundreds of environmental assessment and remediation projects, both domestically and internationally.

Dinan’s Boston team resolves complex environmental challenges through the application of comprehensive analytical skills and technologies. Approaching each project with decades of expertise, mitigating the financial risk through careful assessment, analysis, and planning protects clients and the environment during all phases of redevelopment.

The Boston location supports the growing demand for environmental scientists, engineers, and consultants. SCS professional staff specializes in meeting federal, state, and local clean air, water, and soil goals, and the restoration of property once thought impractical to revitalize. The firm also provides vapor intrusion systems for protecting existing properties and a range of comprehensive environmental services for public and private entities.

As with most established urban environments, many properties may have previously been industrial or mass transportation sites, which often means that extra care is taken during redevelopment. Commercial real estate transactions must take environmental issues into consideration. Complex laws can impose significant environmental liabilities on purchasers, sellers, and lenders, whether or not they caused the problem, and whether or not they still own the property.

Important rules published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – USEPA and in Massachusetts and other states offer defenses against environmental liabilities provided that the defendant conducted “all appropriate inquiries” regarding the property at the time of the acquisition, and then took reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of hazardous substances found on the property.

For more information, case studies, events, and articles visit these pages:

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Five industry leaders provide insight on organics diversion strategies

February 10, 2020

Recently, Waste360 published “Organics Diversion Drives Changes in Landfill Operators’ Roles,” an article examining the evolving role of landfill operators in organics waste diversion. Five industry leaders provide insight into how landfill operators and the solid waste industry are adapting to accommodate the evolution and the cost of organics management.

Waste360 interviewed:

  • Susan Robinson, senior director of sustainability at Waste Management
  • Robert Gardner, senior vice president at SCS Engineers
  • David Biderman, executive director, and CEO for Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Jason Munyan, manager of engineering for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, and
  • Jim Stone, deputy director of public works/operations for San Joaquin County, California

The article provides best practices, strategies, technology, and systems that could support or supplement landfill operators’ response plans to the changing policies and contract requirements in more economically sustainable ways. Waste360 rounds up answers to the most common challenges operators and public works departments face including how to reduce permitting time, cost, and environmental impact.

Read the article

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Meet Steve Linehan, P.E., and Recent Waste360 40-Under-40 Winner

February 7, 2020

Like many Young Professionals, Steve is more than a Professional Engineer. To his clients, he’s a manager often exceeding their expectations; to others a mentor and to his community a man involved.

Steve Linehan, PE

As a Senior Project Manager at SCS, Steve is responsible for overseeing solid waste and environmental services projects from SCS’s Oklahoma City and Wichita offices. He has a broad range of expertise, including solid and hazardous waste regulations, landfill design, and regulatory compliance. Steve supports his clients providing landfill and solid waste solutions that include compliance audits, stormwater modeling and design, remedial action plans, remedial systems designs, site investigations, health and safety assessments, waterway crossing assessments, and construction.

Living and working in the Heartland, his efforts take him to sites including solid waste facilities, active and closed landfill sites, oil well fields, fuel storage facilities, vehicle maintenance facilities, truck stops, industrial sites, and agricultural sites. Chemical contamination encountered in both soil and groundwater media is of growing concern across the nation. Steve mitigates and helps prevent contamination from petroleum, dioxin, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents. Some of these sites have complex management systems that protect the air, water, and soil from harm. Operating these systems in harmony is expensive, requiring experience and understanding of each of the components plus regional knowledge.

Sangeeta Bhattacharjee, EIT

Sangeeta Bhattacharjee, E.I.T., an SCS Engineers Associate Professional, submitted Steve’s name as a Waste360 candidate, unknown to him. So being among the honorees came as quite a surprise. Sangeeta told us, “I wanted to let everyone know about his work and take inspiration from him.” She went on to say:

If anyone is looking for a professional who has experience, knowledge, expertise in landfills but who is still so humble, honest, and always there to learn more, it is Steve in my eyes. Anyone who meets Steve will be assured that he will get the work done. That much confidence and expertise with so much coolness is a rare combination. I, and most of my colleagues, depend on his personal qualities every day; I am sure others will be happy to know him.

Steve, a graduate of Kansas State University, is licensed in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Kansas and Oklahoma Societies of Professional Engineers, where he served in several chair positions as well as Chapter President; and the Solid Waste Association of North America where he recently served in the Sunflower Chapter as a Director.

Thanks to Sangeeta, Steve and all the Waste360 40-Under-40 Award Winners for their commitment to solving solid waste industry challenges and facing these challenges positively − you make a difference.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 7:51 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Different Parameters Impact Coal Ash Remediation

February 3, 2020

The staff at SCS Engineers (SCS) has talked at length about how changing the parameters of a coal ash remediation project impacts the eventual outcome of that project. That involves not only the factors present at a particular site but also the regulatory environment in which that site operates, certainly as rules evolve regarding the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs).

Two primary means of coal ash remediation are closure-in-place, or cap-in-place, of an existing coal ash storage site, and closure-by-removal. Closure-in-place involves dewatering the storage site, or impoundment, in effect converting from wet storage to dry storage of ash. A cover system is then used to prevent more water from entering the site.

Closure-by-removal involves dewatering of the coal ash, and then excavating it, and transporting it to a lined landfill or a recycling center.

“There are lots of technical reasons and site-specific factors that can influence a project’s outcome,” said Eric Nelson, vice president of SCS and an experienced engineer and hydrogeologist. “These might include the type and volume of CCR, the geologic setting [e.g., groundwater separation], presence and proximity of receptors [e.g., drinking water supply], and physical setting [e.g., constraints such as access, available space onsite for re-disposal, proximity/availability of offsite re-disposal airspace, etc.].”

Sherren Clark, an SCS team member with experience in civil engineering and environmental science, said “risk evaluation is a key component of remedy selection. A CCR unit undergoing an assessment of corrective measures [ACM] could be a 100-acre ash impoundment containing 30 feet of fly ash, but it also could be a 2-acre bottom ash pond. It could have numerous groundwater constituents exceeding drinking water standards by a significant margin, or it could have a single parameter slightly above the limit at a single well. And there could be water supply wells nearby in the same aquifer, or none for miles around. All of these factors play into the selection of a remedy that addresses the existing risks, without creating other negative impacts such as site disturbance, dust, or truck traffic.”

Tom Karwoski, a hydrogeologist and project manager for SCS who has designed and managed investigations and remediations at landfills as well as industrial, Superfund, and other waste storage sites, noted the challenges inherent to individual sites and stressed careful planning is needed to achieve the desired result. At some sites, “given the size and the nature of the impoundments, transport of CCR off-site may not be the best option.” When moving from the ACM to the remedy [selection], it’s extremely important to have multiple meetings with the client to set the schedule. Based on the way the [CCR] rule is written, things have to progress logically. There’s time available for careful planning. The last thing we want to do is start making assumptions without input from the client and other interested parties. Regulatory compliance and concern for the surrounding community and the environment are important to us and our clients.

“If the nature of the site in its current condition allows it, capping of the site will reduce surface water moving through the waste and significantly cut down on the risk of groundwater contamination,” Karwoski said. “At sites where you have CCRs that may be distributed across a site, to consolidate that onsite and then the cap will address CCRs impacting groundwater.”

Jennifer Robb, vice president and project director with SCS’s Solid Waste Services Division, and the company’s Groundwater Technical Advisor for the Mid-Atlantic region said her group has “done corrective measures for cobalt, arsenic, and thallium,” all contaminants found in coal ash. “There are some in situ bio-remediation that can be done, where basically you’re trying to alter the chemistry to immobilize the metal.” Jennifer noted that there are also more physical remedies where contaminated groundwater is extracted from the subsurface by pumping or the groundwater plume is contained or treated in-situ with the construction of “cut off trenches.”

Karwoski said, “we have no preconceived notions about what is best for all sites, but if you consolidate [waste] onsite and then cap, it will certainly take care of a lot of situations where you have CCRs impacting downgradient groundwater.” This approach may not be appropriate in every situation, but, if arrived at after thoughtfully navigating the remedy selection process defined in the current Federal CCR rules (40 CFR 257 Subpart D—Standards for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals in Landfills and Surface Impoundments), should result in an approach that is effective based on the site-specific factors present.

Learn more here.

Read last month’s blog “Many Factors Influence Remedies for CCR Control and Disposal.”

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

International Production & Processing Expo 2020 – IPPE – Atlanta, GA

January 28, 2020

The International Production & Processing Expo is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat, and feed industry event of its kind. A wide range of international decision-makers attend this annual event to network and become informed on the latest technological developments, environmental solutions, renewable energy from feedstocks, and other issues within the industry.

SCS Engineers staff professionals will be attending the event and are available to discuss wastewater treatment, risk management plans, process safety management planning, emerging contaminants such as PFAS, and other environmental challenges facing industry participants.

Please contact SCS ahead of the conference if you would like to discuss strategies for meeting these environmental challenges during the conference.  We will arrange to have the appropriate professionals available to speak with you.

The management of environmental issues is a priority for the meat and poultry industry, and this conference is designed to provide processors with the latest information to effect change and meet regulatory requirements within their operations. Increased scrutiny from both the public and government has paved the way for advanced technologies and innovations that help processors improve environmental factors, which will be discussed by technical experts and industry leaders.

This IPPE conference covers critical topics including EPS enforcement, water use, and conservation, wastewater management, Form R Reporting, Process Safety Management (PSM), recycling, PFAS and more. Come learn how industry leaders are dealing with key environmental issues through the sharing of best practices and gain practical information to help your business. The conference includes a networking reception on Monday evening, as well as an awards luncheon on Tuesday that will recognize the winners of the NAMI Environmental Achievement and Environmental Recognition awards.

SCS  Resources:

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Meet Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer of SCS Engineers at GWMS 2020

January 24, 2020

Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer

Dr. Iyer is a Staff Professional at SCS focusing on environmental research and engineering in water, wastewater, solid waste, and landfill design. Gomathy is another of our remarkably talented young professionals utilizing her expertise in leachate management and landfill design to support her clients.

We hope you will attend Gomathy’s presentation “Suitability of Un-Composted Grass Clippings and Biosolids as Biocovers for Biological Methane Removal from Landfills,” on Tuesday, February 25 at 8:30 am (Track B: Landfill Covers), at the 2020 Global Waste Management Symposium. Her presentation is based on a technical paper of the same name and co-authored with Melanie Sattler of the University of Texas at Arlington, and Darrin Dillah of SCS Engineers.

Landfill biocovers are widely used to oxidize methane emissions, a known greenhouse gas. The biocovers in use today are typically either fully or partially made of composts. However, the production of compost, although theoretically an aerobic process, also produces potentially substantial quantities of methane, from 3.2 to 362 kg carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalents per ton of wet waste composted, depending on various factors, for example, the type of waste, and open or enclosed composting technology. This research explored the suitability of using uncomposted grass clippings as a biocover for methane removal from landfills, with the aim of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions.

Physical and chemical characteristics of grass clippings along with other components of yard waste were studied and compared. The use of biosolids and fly ash as potential bulking materials were considered since the physical and chemical characteristics of biosolids and fly ash complemented the grass clippings and biosolids were expected to provide a good inoculum of microbes for the biocover. Batch tests were performed on the grass clippings and combinations of grass, biosolids and fly ash mixtures for aerobic methane removal. Grass clippings were found to have a maximum methane removal rate of 2,121.7 nmol/kg/s, and a combination of grass and biosolids showed a maximum methane removal rate of 4,410.8 nmol/kg/s. Analyzing different proportions of grass, biosolids and fly ash mixtures, it was found that a 70% grass, 21% biosolids and 9% fly ash mixture exhibited the highest methane oxidation of 5,862.5 nmol/kg/s.

Column tests were performed on the grass clippings and on a combination of 70% grass, 21% biosolids and 9% fly ash by introducing a continuous flow of 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide at the bottom of the column reactor containing 2 feet of biocover material. The column reactors with grass clippings showed a methane removal of 90-100% within the first 10 days, and the reactors with the combination of grass, biosolids and fly ash showed a methane removal of 90-100% within first 3 days. Biocover performance indexes were calculated based on the performance of each biocover. The biocover performance index for grass was found to be 20.8 µg/g/hr and that for the combination of 70% grass, 21% biosolids and 9% fly ash was found to be 43.3 µg/g/hr.

Representative samples were taken from the column reactors to analyze for the presence of methanotrophs involved in the methane removal process. A PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis was performed on these samples with A189 (forward) and A682 (reverse) primers. The evidence of pMMO PCR amplification products was seen in all column reactor samples, indicating the presence of the pMMO gene, which is found in methanotrophs and hence confirmed the presence of methanotrophs. A BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) was performed on the sequence obtained from the PCR analysis confirmed methalocystis and type 2 methanotrophs. Figure 1 shows the gel picture of the PCR analysis of the column reactor samples. #1

1&2: Column reactor with grass clipping, 3&4: Column reactor with 70% grass, 21% biosolids, and 9% fly ash, 5: Column reactor with yard waste compost (control), 7: Mock extract, 8: Primer negative control, Neg: PCR negative control.

LEAF testing was conducted to analyze the leachability of fly ash in the biocover. It was seen that silver, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and thallium exceeded the permissible level in drinking water. Hence, it was concluded that the grass clippings by itself or a combination of grass and biosolids can be used as a biocover for biological methane removal.

Global Waste Management Symposium 2020
February 23 @ 8:00 am – February 26 @ 5:00 pm
2020 GWMS Information

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Apply Today – Environmental and Solid Waste Summer Internships

January 17, 2020

SCS Engineers Summer Internships

Openings and applications here

SCS provides valuable technical and engineering business experience as you work alongside our professional staff on a diverse range of solid waste and environmental projects. Opportunities can jump-start your career path as SCS interns become part of the solutions we deliver to our clients.

Opportunities in 2020 are available nationwide.

Interns typically work 40 hours per week. Paid internships start in May or June, and end in August or September; your exact start and end dates are arranged to accommodate your school schedule.

Learn more about the SCS Engineers program here.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

US Composting Council Awards – Large Scale Composter of the Year Goes to…

January 15, 2020

… Prince George’s County compost facility. PG County is now processing 70,000 tons of yard trim, leaves, and food scraps each year in aerated static pile systems to produce LeafGro® and LeafGro Gold®. That’s the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of removing over 13,310 cars from the road every year.

USCC will honor the County and other category winners at USCC Compost 2020 – 28th Annual Conference and Tradeshow, in Charleston, SC.

Learn more about this award-winning project here.

 

Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am
Tag Archives: environmental engineering

Landfill Gas Header: Location and Benefits

January 13, 2020

SCS Advice From the Field Blog Series

 

Lessons learned from previously constructed gas collection and control systems teach solid waste professionals valuable lessons about designing for long-term survivability and reducing the maintenance cost of gas system components. The location impacts operating and maintenance costs for various components of gas collection and control systems such as condensate force main, condensate sumps,  force main for well liquids, air lines to pumps in gas wells, and gas headers long into the future. As often as possible, design the gas header in the landfill perimeter berm along with the condensate sumps. Landfill perimeter berms constructed in an engineered manner with well- compacted soils and a well-defined geometry provide a long-term cost-effective alternative to earlier designs outside the berm.

For many years, gas headers were designed and constructed outside of the landfill perimeter berm, on the landfill surface. Of course, landfill surface changes as waste elevation increases over time, resulting in many gas headers that now may be 30 feet or more below the current waste surface. Deeply buried gas headers are unreliable at best, and the operator loses access to them as soon as 20 feet of waste covers the header.

Collapsed gas headers buried deep in waste are an expensive challenge when operating a large number of gas wells connected to the gas header, and could cause serious compliance issues. Upon discovery of a collapsed buried gas header, installing a new header is a lengthy process with significant costs, not to mention the hurdles the operator will have to jump addressing noncompliance with their state agency.

The benefits of placing gas headers in the landfill perimeter are:

  • Constructing gas headers once without the need to be re-constructed again at a high cost
  • Constructing condensate sumps in line with the gas header in the landfill perimeter berm, provide technicians quick access for maintenance
  • Avoiding ground settlement around condensate sumps
  • Avoiding sagging of the gas header over time due to settlement
  • The slope of the gas header toward the condensate sumps in perimeter berms is much less than those on the landfill slope
  • There is little surcharge loading on the gas header, thereby no crushing of the pipe
  • The gas header is accessible for any additional connections if required in the future.

Since the condensate force main follows the gas header in the perimeter berm to flow to a tank or discharge point, there are additional maintenance benefits.

  • Electrical lines to electric pumps or compressed air lines to air pumps in condensate sumps are located in the landfill perimeter berm
  • Cleanouts to the condensate force main are built along the perimeter berm and accessible for maintenance
  • Flow meters, air release valves, and sampling points on the condensate force main are constructed at necessary spots along the landfill perimeter berm and easily accessible to technicians
  • Stub outs on the gas header are constructed at locations specified in the design plans along the landfill perimeter berm for connecting the gas header to vacuum lines extending up the landfill slope
  • Compressed air lines to air pumps in gas wells are constructed in the landfill perimeter berm with stub outs for extensions on to the landfill slopes and to the wells.

By continuing to design gas header construction on landfill slopes, all of the components end up on the landfill slope as well. You can imagine what type of complications the landfill operator will face since all of these components are in areas vulnerable to erosion, settlement, future filling or future construction. Additionally, any maintenance requiring digging and re-piping necessitates placing equipment on the landfill slope and disturbing the landfill slope surface for an extended period.

 

For more information about these benefits and more, please refer to the MSW Magazine article series Considerations for the Piping Network, the author, or contact SCS Engineers at service@scsengineers.com.

 



About the Author:  Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. He is also our National Expert for Landfill Design and Construction Quality Assurance. He has nearly 40 years of research and professional experience in mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

Learn more at Landfill Engineering

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am
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